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GSIS Gazette – Issue #78

29th April 2022

Principal's Column

Dear School Community 

On Monday, the first day back to face-to-face learning, I very much enjoyed being able to greet students and colleagues personally as they arrived on campus in the morning. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces. At this point, I realised once again how crucial it is, especially for young people, to have social contacts to learn and grow with. The school not only has the function of academic education, but also bears responsibility for their students’ social and emotional development as part of a community.   

RAT Test Form Submission

I would like to thank all parents for reporting the RAT test results so reliably, as well as our departmental secretaries for organising and for their responsible work with the reported results. The daily reporting to the CHP is a condition for the resumption of face-to-face lessons. To date, no positive rapid test result has been reported to us. This is plausible given the sharp decline in infection numbers. Nevertheless, we will continue to carefully adhere to all safety precautions at the school to ensure that all families and the community are protected. Personal experience has shown me that, if infection control measures are followed, transmission of infection in the school is unlikely, even if positive cases may be present. We remain cautious. 

RAT distribution at GSIS

Furthermore, on behalf of the entire school community, I would like to thank our Board of Directors, our cooperation partner ALBA Berlin as well as our administrative staff. In highly efficient collaboration, almost 700 bags each containing about 40 rapid tests were packed and given to the students at cost price. ALBA Berlin kindly donated 700 recycled bags for this purpose, the Board of Directors took care of sourcing the rapid tests, and our administrative colleagues put it all together. A wonderful team effort for our school community.

Kindergarten

We were all disappointed that the general regulations did not allow an immediate start for the Kindergarten children. Therefore, in cooperation with the Kindergarten KPRs, we submitted a special request for early full resumption of the Kindergarten. To my great pleasure I can announce that the EDB has granted our request and the Kindergarten will resume its programme on 3 May with all children.

Finally, I would like to wish all the families here in Hong Kong a speedy return to a normal life and, above all, good health. 

I remain with a smile, with the hope for the continuation of the positive developments and the outlook for a beautiful long May weekend. 

Dr Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email

News from the Board

The Association Board is excited to see the return of life to our campus this week. While the disruption caused a lot of inconveniences, we sincerely hope that we can make the most of the remaining school year to provide our students with the education they need in the wonderful environment that we have.

We are especially thankful to the staff who worked over the Easter break to ensure that the in person restart was as smooth as possible. This included the additional volunteerism of staff to procure and distribute almost 26,000 testing kits to our community and another 9,000 testing kits to our staff. This initiative was possible through the assistance of the following individuals and entities:

  • Ms. Katherine Chan, Mr. Paul Ng and Mr. Jonathan Shun Wah who identified procurement sources and donated 7,000 testing kits to the school; and
  • Alba Berlin, our sports partner, who donated 700 recycle bags for the testing kits.

Additionally, the Association Board would like to thank the Parents Committee for ensuring a warm welcome for students and staff. This included two initiatives, firstly the provision of cookies to each member of staff, generously provided by Ms Cherie Bera, and the creation of a colourful wall of thoughts from students returning to campus.

We hope that these initiatives set a foundation for things to come for GSIS.

The Board of the GSIS Association Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email

Schoolwide News

Catering – Customer Service Survey / Lunch Menu May 2022 – Secondary Students only

Dear Secondary Students and Parents

We are very pleased to see our Secondary Students back on campus and enjoying the services of our cafeteria again.

Chartwells Compass Group Hong Kong Limited has been our catering service provider for many years and we are grateful for their commitment to GSIS. In order to have a better understanding of the current services and to fill any gaps with further improvements, we would appreciate if you could complete the following Customer Service Survey Link by Friday, 6 May 2022.

Please click here: Customer Service Survey GSIS2022

Additionally please see below the link to the April/May 2022 lunch menu: April - May 2022 Lunch Menu

Alternatively you can also find the current lunch menu on our website under the following link: https://www.gsis.edu.hk/aboutus/campuses-facilities/cafeteria/ .

Currently hot lunches will be provided in take-away boxes.

Each day students can choose between three different hot dishes, including a vegetarian option. The prices per each meal are at HK$35 , HK$ 37 and HK$39 respectively and are payable by Octopus card when lunch is collected. No cash payment will be accepted.

In addition to hot lunches students can also choose from a wide range of ciabattas, croissants and other snacks including smoothies at our coffee corner.

Social distancing rules while eating and drinking still apply and need to be obeyed at all times.

With kind regards

 

Angelin, Conny, Natasha and Tiffany
Student Services Team
Email

University Guidance: Upcoming Events (External)

UK: IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

Taster Lectures Series – Engineering

Our taster lectures are designed for you to explore a subject area in more depth and experience what studying at Imperial is like. You can sample real lectures on our courses, including student teaching workshops and laboratory and practical sessions.

You can view all our taster lectures below and register for as many as you wish to attend. Don't worry if you can't make a lecture, just register and we'll send you a recording.

Mechanical Engineering: Demystifying Thermofluids

Thursday 5 May 9:00pm-10:00pm GMT (Friday 6 May 5:00am-6:00am HKT)

Register

Civil Engineering: Water Engineering for Sustainable Development

Monday 9 May 7:00pm-8:00pm GMT (Tuesday 10 May 3:00am-4:00am HKT)

Register

Electrical and Electronic Engineering: From Analogue Signals to Digital Signals and Back Again

Tuesday 10 May 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT (Wednesday 11 May 1:00am-2:00am HKT)

Register

Earth Science and Engineering: Mining and the green energy transition

Wednesday 11 May 10:00pm-11:00pm GMT(Thursday 12 May 6:00am-7:00am HKT)

Register

Bioengineering: A closer look at Bioengineering

Thursday 12 May 10:30pm-11:30pm GMT (Friday 13 May 6:30am-7:30am HKT)

Register

Materials: Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering

Wednesday 18 May 5:30pm-6:30pm GMT (Thursday 19 May 1:30am-2:30am HKT)

Register

 

USA: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Virtual Student Salons

UChicago Salons offer admitted students the opportunity to connect in real time with current UChicago students and fellow admitted students, and are intended to mimic the small class sizes found on our campus. Bring your questions about campus life and be prepared for a lively conversation!

 

 USA: CHICAGO, COLUMBIA, TEXAS AT AUSTIN, MICHIGAN, YALE

 Discovering U: Joint Virtual Information Session

Join Columbia University, the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan, and Yale University to discover the exceptional opportunities our schools have to offer! Admissions professionals from our five schools will host a zoom webinar featuring a variety of perspectives on the academic programs, philosophies, and traditions that make our colleges a home for our students.

 

USA: STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Alumni Get-to-Know-You Series

The Alumni Get-to-Know-You events are a series of virtual sessions in which Stanford alumni will discuss their successes, failures, highlights, and memories from their time at Stanford. Attendees will have the chance to hear about our campus community centers, diverse student body, and life after Stanford. These events are open to students of ALL backgrounds, regardless of how they may identify.

The sessions will take place throughout the month of May. Each session is from 4:00pm-5:00pm Pacific Daylight Time (7:00am-8:00am the following day HK time).

Register

Claire Wilkins
Head of University Guidance
Email

Beatrice Ugolini
University Guidance Counsellor
Email

German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents

We are ecstatically happy to have all the Kindergarten children back on May 03.

Please read through the Kindergarten Guidelines to ensure a smooth and easy start on Tuesday for your child. Please do not forget that you must submit your child's daily temperature and RATest results via Veracross by 6:30 am every school day.

Here is our calendar of events for May

  • Mother's Day: Friday, 6 May
  • Literature Fest: Tuesday, 10 May till Friday, 20 May
  • Dress up as "My favourite Book Character": Friday, 20 May

More information about the events will follow shortly.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kit order

If you have placed an order for RAT kits through GSIS, please send the exact amount in cash in an envelope to the school. Please write your child's name, class, and amount on the envelope.

Enjoy the long weekend, and Happy May Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten
Email

Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten and Deputy Child Protection Officer Pok Fu Lam Campus
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

We are so happy to have our Primary students back at our Peak and Pok Fu Lam Campus. When I walked through the school on Monday I only saw smiling faces - students and teachers were delighted to be back at school.

Thank you for your support. Most of you filled out the daily RAT and Temperature record in time. This helps us to keep a safe environment at school. Please upload your records in Veracross before 6.30 (PFL) and 7.00 (Peak) so that we can verify RAT and Temperature records prior to the first students arriving at school. 

If you have not filled out the form, your child is not allowed to enter the Upper Building.

Book week

From 10 May the books are again in the centre of our learning. All classes from DVOR–K04 will have an online author reading, which this time will be very special. Antje von Stemm is not only famous for her stories but also for her pop-up books. Our kids will have the chance to learn about writing books, getting to know a new story but also how to make pop-up books.

All classes will also have some fun activities around reading.

We wish you a lovely weekend.

 

 

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department
Email

Beate Weinhardt
Deputy Head of German Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

English International Stream

From Head of Stream

Dear Parents

Welcome back to school! The positive energy around the campuses has been palpable as students returned to primary and secondary departments; we look forward to the return of our Kindergarteners next Tuesday.

I would like to start by saluting all families for conducting the daily RAT process - straightforward for some but definitely more of a challenge for others. This is an inevitable feature of our lives now, particularly if we want to travel in the coming months, but it is not the best thing to wake up to and I know some families are working really hard to ensure that the testing is completed on time. Thank you!

We’re very pleased to have got the first week of IGCSE and IB Diploma examinations off and running. The students have all been well-prepared and relatively calm before entering the examination room, which is just the right state of mind. Thanks to ESD staff and the facilities team for adapting our venues to meet the CHP requirements by creating and maintaining an examination bubble for the duration of the assessment period.

I spent the first part of this week conducting an evaluation of the IB Diploma programme for a school in Singapore. It was a virtual experience so by the end of the process I was zoomed out but it was a great experience to spend time with stakeholders of another community noticing the similarities and differences that make both of our schools unique. We will go through a similar process in 2023 and this will dovetail well with the Bundes Lände Inspektion later that year prior to our application for membership of the Council of International Schools in 2024. In preparation for these inspections and accreditations, we will continue to look closely at all aspects of our policies and practices to ensure that they maintain the highest standards of educational and operational practice.

The return to school, early morning testing at home, preparedness for examinations and systemic reviews are all complex events that need understanding, trust and collaboration within the community. We have all been through a challenging time that has taken its toll on us in myriad ways but we are optimistic that better times are ahead and we can continue to build back to the supportive, kind, thoughtful, proactive community we aspire to be.

Best wishes for a sunny long weekend

 

 

Simon Misso-Veness
Deputy Principal / Head of English International Stream
Email

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents

We are ecstatically happy to have all the Kindergarten children back on May 03.

Please read through the Kindergarten Guidelines to ensure a smooth and easy start on Tuesday for your child. Please do not forget that you must submit your child's daily temperature and RATest results via Veracross by 6:30 am every school day.

Here is our calendar of events for May

  • Mother's Day: Friday, 6 May
  • Literature Fest: Tuesday, 10 May till Friday, 20 May
  • Dress up as "My favourite Book Character": Friday, 20 May

More information about the events will follow shortly.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kit order

If you have placed an order for RAT kits through GSIS, please send the exact amount in cash in an envelope to the school. Please write your child's name, class, and amount on the envelope.

Enjoy the long weekend, and Happy May Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten
Email

Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten and Deputy Child Protection Officer Pok Fu Lam Campus
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

We are so happy to have our Primary students back at the Peak and Pok Fu Lam. Walking through the school you can see all of the smiling faces of the students and teachers whole are delighted to be back at school.

Thank you for your support with our updated requirements. Most of you filled out the daily RAT and Temperature record in time. This helps us to keep a safe environment at school. Please upload your records in Veracross before 6:30 am (PFL) and 7:00 am (Peak) so that we can verify RAT and Temperature records prior to the first students arriving at school. 

Book week

From 10 May books are again at the center of our learning. We are putting together a programme similar to previous years and will share information with you next week.

Have a great weekend!

Kim Cunningham
Head of English Primary Department
Email

Donna Morley
Deputy Head of English Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Student Achievements & Initiatives

Rochelle Chang Won in International Maths Contest

Rochelle Chang (Y04B) won national Third Prize in the 2022 Maths Kangaroo Contest (Grade 3/Year 4 Group - Hong Kong). Congratulations to Rochelle for the fantastic achievement in her first maths competition!

Maths Kangaroo Contest is one of the largest maths competitions in the world with 30 years of history and six million candidates annually from over 80 participating countries.

 

https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/PhotoRoom_20220419_190206.jpg

(Click thumbnail/s to enlarge image)

Wellbeing Corner

Reconnecting after the 5th Wave

Many of us felt some degree of isolation and disconnection during the 5th wave. Now, students are back in school and Hong Kong continues to open up. Be intentional about reconnecting. Here are a few tips that may help as you reconnect with colleagues, classmates and friends. 

  1. Don’t find excuses, just reach out. It takes only a few minutes to stop by someone’s office, locker or to send a message. Don’t build it up in your head of why you shouldn’t or why the other person should be the one to do so instead. Tell them, “I just wanted to see how you are doing.” Most likely, you and they will feel better for it. 
  2. Set a daily goal. With so much uncertainty and change, there’s no better time than now to reconnect or to reach out to old friends. The 5th wave left many people isolated and wanting to hear from someone. Set a goal to reach out to one or two people a day. You don’t need an agenda or reason for doing so. 
  3. Be curious and ask questions. Through meaningful questions and showing a genuine interest in someone, you demonstrate that you care and they matter to you. Don’t make it all about yourself. 
  4. Be generous and forgiving. This time has been difficult for many, and sometimes even important relationships get pushed to the sidelines. Seek to understand and forgive if needed. 
  5. Express that you value them. Share that you missed them, and what they mean to you. Arrange a playdate, dinner, hike or another activity to get your relationship back on track. 

Take care and be kind to yourself.

Your School Counsellors

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